Hearts will hosts defending Scottish champions Celtic at the Tynecastle Stadium in Edinburgh in the league in a few hours’ time.
“Celtic going to Tynecastle right now is akin to taking a walk in a bonfire – it could be a dangerous thing to do,” former Celtic midfielder and manager Hay has written in The Glasgow Evening Times.
“I said before a ball was kicked that I felt Hearts would finish third and while they have had a little bit of a lull, it’s been a good season overall for the Edinburgh men. They are a club going places with a young, talented team on the park. Good on them.”
“Hearts have some decent players and I can’t imagine that they will be intimidated,” added Hay.
Celtic have the best squad in the Scottish Premiership and are firm favourites to win the league title this season.
However, the Bhoys’ form in recent weeks have not been great, and manager Ronny Deila has come under pressure.
The Hoops will head into Sunday’s encounter in Edinburgh on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Motherwell at Celtic Park.
The defeat in Glasgow came as a surprise, and the Celtic players will be determined to bounce back.
Hearts are 10 points behind leaders Celtic and are out of the title race, but they will not be easy to win against.